For good reason, the O’Fallon YMCA is flexing its muscles.
The local YMCA has surpassed its annual fund raising goal, and set a record in the process.
The YMCA had earlier set a $130,000 goal after it broke last year’s record by $5,000.
Carolan Cross, Associate Executive Director O'Fallon YMCA, said this year’s goal was achieved and topped by 3 percent.
The annual campaign is used to support the YMCA’s mission-based programs which serve O’Fallon, Shiloh and surrounding city residents.
Through the money raised, the YMCA is able to provide programs to the public regardless of their ability or inability to pay.
The annual campaign started on Nov. 1, 2015 and ended March 31.
One of the of mission based programs include the Live Strong program. This program is currently offered to eight cancer survivors.
“We all have had someone in our life, through friendship or family, that have been impacted by cancer,” Cross said. “Some have survived, some have not.”
The YMCA wants to use this new program is to rehabilitate the physical loss that has had while in the remission of cancer, and provide the survivor and their family a three month free membership to the O’Fallon YMCA. The cancer survivor with the trained instructors will help kick start the loss they might have had through cancer, Crossin said.
“The family also has the opportunity to join the YMCA as well,” she added.
Cross hopes during the three-month program, the cancer survivor will make the person an even stronger person.
“That program roughly costs about $1,000,” she said.
The YMCA hopes to have 20 cancer survivors enrolled in this first-ever program. A second session will be held later this year.
“We are really excited about this program,” Cross said.
The first session started earlier this month.
Anyone who is interested in signing up for the next session is encouraged to contact the YMCA, and speak with Program Director Greg Jarrett, and complete an application process.
The YMCA will use some of its campaign money to fund its after school tutoring program for children in grades K-8.
Cross said the YMCA wants children to be apart of this after school learning environment so they can do their homework and work with their peers and role models. The YMCA currently has 27 students enrolled in this program, which is offered from 3:30-6:30 p.m., Monday-Thursday when school is in session. Snacks are also provided at no cost. This program costs the YMCA about $7,000 to $10,000 to present. Last year, over 500 children attended the camp this past summer.
The YMCA also holds a 11-week summer day camp. Some families and/or individuals may not have the ability to pay to send their children to this camp. Through the annual campaign, the YMCA is able to pay some of these children’s camp fees. The camp annually costs the about $20,000 to $40,000, Cross said.
The YMCA has also teamed up with Central School District 104 to teach water safety classes and swimming lessons to teach its water safety classes, including swimming lessons.
“We want to ensure kids have the best opportunity to learn how to be safe in the water,” Cross said.
The water safety programs costs the YMCA about $7,000-$10,000 annually, she said.
The YMCA also provides membership opportunities to individuals who might have lost a job or their home life has changed and they no longer have the income that they used to have.
“We have a membership for all, where we don’t turn anyway through their ability to pay,” Cross said.
The O’Fallon YMCA now has about 10,500 members. The YMCA averages about 29,000 visits a month, according to Cross.
“We have an incredibly high volume,” she said.
Cross attributes that volume to Scott Air Force Base. But O’Fallon and Shiloh also a very growing communities.
“Every time you look, there is another housing development or something else being built,” she said.